In the early 2000s, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analyzed nearly 1,000 large truck crashes involving injuries or fatalities. The findings were brought together in the 2007 Large Truck Crash Causation Study, a definitive study on what causes truck crashes on the highways. Drivers in New Jersey should know what the study found to be the three most common causes.
First of all, it should be noted that errors on the part of truckers accounted for 44% of two-vehicle crashes. In 29% of the trucks analyzed in the LTCCS were found brake problems, making these the most common factor in truck collisions. Trucks with brake problems were 170% more likely to be assigned the “critical reason” for a crash than trucks with properly adjusted brakes.
Next, truckers exceeding the speed limit or driving too fast for road and weather conditions factored into 23% of crashes. Though not the most frequently cited factor, speeding made a truck 670% more likely to be assigned the critical reason for the collision.
Truckers’ unfamiliarity with roadways was brought up in 22% of crashes in the LTCCS and raised the chances of truckers being at fault by 100%. Truckers are supposed to plan ahead, knowing what routes and turns to take.
When truck accidents arise out of the trucker’s own negligence, then those who were injured through little or no fault of their own may file a claim. New Jersey being a no-fault state, though, there are restrictions on who can file a third-party insurance claim. Specifically, only those who have incurred serious injuries or disabilities can file. To see if they qualify, victims may want to consult an attorney. With legal representation, they may strive for a fair settlement out of court.